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We live in a pluralistic world – so many opinions, voices and ideas that run parallely and against each other. Pluralism is what adds depth and richness to architecture. On one hand, architecture -fundamentally- is born as a response to the current social setting. The free expression of ideas has borne us the likes of Zaha Hadid, Gaudi, Corbusier and so on. What characterises these architects was their novel idea of space, born out of the need to view space differently. This freedom of thought gives us something to respond to, initiating an architectural dialogue, developing our stance further.

Zaha_Guangzhou Opera house

Zaha Hadid – Guangzhou Opera house; Pursuing the sculptural quality of a space | Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects


Casa Battlo, Gaudi – Highly individualistic, born out of a fascination of nature and architecture.

On the other hand, it is also the enabler of party minded ness. One radical idea will entice people to go with the flow – e.g, Glass buildings stamped across the world. A certain homogeneity arising out of the inherently heterogeneous idea of plurals. This subjective nature of the profession allows anyone to adopt any idea, but at what cost ? Buildings in Singapore, United States and across India look the same. Are they born out of pluralistic ideas or a lack of applying it ?


Singapore skyline, reminiscent of New York, Gurgaon and Hong Kong, amongst others. | Courtesy : Google

This brings me to a question my design professor asked me in the very first semester of college, the depth of which I can understand only at this point in time –

Should architecture be subjective ?

Is it just a free reign of thought ? Does architecture really need such free reign of thought ? Or do we need some tethers that bind us to our context – not in a limiting manner, but one that makes us truly aware of the setting we respond to. Where do we draw the line between freedom of thought and ignorance ? These are questions I shall continue to ask myself, to understand whether subjectivity is a boon or bane.

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